T Nation

15 Y/O, Good Strength for My Age?


#1

Hi, I am 15 and I have been lifting for a little over a year, I have been mainly focusing on strength training. My best lifts are 120kg squat, 117.5kg bench and 180kg deadlift. I know my squat is poor, thats because I couldn’t squat at the beginning due to previous knee injury. Are these numbers good for my age, Im asking because I was thinking about really focusing on powerlifting and maybe competing in the next 2 years. You can look up some of my lifts ;


#2

If the answer is no, what will you do instead?


#3

I would say you’re above average for a 15 year old in terms of strength. However (and I don’t mean this to offend you at all, but I believe it’s something you need to hear), you’re leaving a lot on the table if you choose to go the powerlifting route this early in your life.

I had the pleasure of working with a kid who turned 15 in March, who is currently at 355/235/405. About the same as you, stronger than the average 15 year old. However, while he could be very, VERY strong if that’s what he wanted to do (he has fantastic proportions for powerlifting), but instead he is currently training for wrestling, football, and shot putting. I absolute commend him for that, for several reasons, which many multi-sport athletes could and would attest to.

First of all, playing a team sport like football forces you to work together with a group of guys who you may or may not like, under the direct supervision and instruction of a superior. That’s an incredibly important skill to have for the rest of your adult life. It teaches you to take harsh criticism from a coach who you may or may not like, which is another important skill.

I never wrestled, but I only have respect for people who have. It teaches you to simultaneously focus your mind and body to achieve a specific task, and employing a strategy and techniques that you have been honing for months in the wrestling room.

Shot putting, something I did pretty well myself, is obviously another individual sport–and at this point I’m just using shot put as an example because I have a good amount of experience with it. Shot put is a great blend of technique and strength, similar to powerlifting in that regard. Throwing shot taught me how to place the blame on myself very quickly. It’s easy in other sports to say “coach called the wrong play, he fucked it up” or “[quarterback] should’ve tucked it and ran for a first down instead of throwing that up for grabs, he’s the reason we lost.” In shot, you either place or you don’t. On some occasions, throwing was the most nerve wracking and exciting sport I ever played. It also taught me how to truly focus on myself and become tuned into my body, because once you’re in that ring, it’s time to go. No stepping out, no talking to anyone, it’s just you and the shot and you need to chuck it.

All of this to say that you’d be missing out on a lot if you went through high school without playing team sports. It’s impossible to be a powerlifter in high school and also do team sports, because every sport now has an offseason program that the coaches expect you to participate in. If you don’t, say good bye to any chance of getting playing time. Some of my best friends, and most of my best memories, AND two of my girlfriends all came into my life because of sports. If I had missed out on those opportunities, I wouldn’t be the person I am today, and I wouldn’t want to meet the me who didn’t experience what I experienced.

You’re a strong kid. Being strong is a major advantage in every sport. Why not take advantage of it now? I played sports all 4 years of high school, then lifted casually freshman year of college. Since then, I’ve been strength training for about a year. You have the rest of your life to lift weights. We got 40-50+ year olds on these forums who routinely push big weight, so getting a 4 year head start won’t mean much in 20 years. Don’t miss these next 3-4 years of making new friends and playing sports. There’s nothing I wouldn’t give to be able to participate in any high school sporting event again. I’d hate to see you completely miss out on what all the possibilities are.


#4

If you’re 15 and lifting weights then that’s a good start, most 15 year olds don’t lift at all. You have a long way to go, just keep training and you will be way ahead of where you are now.


#5

I’m going to assume you’re in the 74kg class, the ipf world records there are:

Squat - 280.5kg
Bench - 187.5kg
Deadlift - 280kg

Thats under 18. So you’re going to need to clarify what “good numbers” means for you.


#6

You’re benching and deadlifting more than I was when I started powerlifting, and I was a grown man (also assuming you’re 74kg - I was too)

Looking at the World Class numbers, thats a great goal for you to target, but don’t get bummed just because you’re not there yet. You can make mad gainz in 2 years if you rehab/prevent injury.


#7

You’re certainly stronger than I was at 15, and I’d say yeah, those are good numbers for your age. However, I’d probably bet that you wouldn’t hit them in a meet. It seems like you haven’t competed yet, and your vid posted wouldn’t count in competition (bounced reps, heels off floor).

Not meaning to knock you off course at all. If anything, I’d recommend competing at the earliest opportunity and judging standards required. I wish I’d started earlier!


#8

Details? Cause. Exact diagnosis. Current level of mobility/pain.

I didn’t see it mentioned but, for context, what’s your current height and weight? You look like a bigger kid.

Last, what’s with the elbow sleeves and wrist wraps? Do you need them or are they a just-in-case? Basically, you’re off to a strong start but if you’re already getting tweaks and lifting around pain, you’re in for big problems over the next 50 years.


#9

I know that im far away from these numbers and i wont be able to hit these, I would say good numbers meaning that I wont make a joke of myself if i would be to compete in the future and have some potentail to place high in some meets, not world scale.


#10

Probably not much would change but I dont want to get my hopes up and then realize it was all for nothing, also I would most likely train in a more recreational way and dont focus only on programming/training/dieting etc.


#11

Do this instead.


#12

Thanks, thats nice to hear, my knee is now in a good state I just need to build my squat up.


#13

Yeah I do understand that, I did 115kg paused but my heels were still off the floor, need to work on that I guess :slight_smile:


#14

It wasnt nothing major, I cant really explain that in english because it is not my native language, but I got knee sprains while playing football about a year ago and didnt want to squat because i was feeling uncomfortable, now it doesnt hurt and the mobility is normal, I keep the knee sleeves for extra support just in case.


#15

Im about 172cm / 5`8 and 78ish kg / 170lbs.


#16

The only thing worse than failing is never trying. If you get bigger and stronger is that somehow a waste of time if you don’t become an elite athlete?

The only way you make a joke of yourself is if you go on acting like you are better than everyone and then proceed to prove yourself wrong on the platform. Also, how you place at a local meet doesn’t really matter, until you are at a more advanced level you are only really competing against yourself.


#17

At the meets I go to, people cheer on every athlete, even the ones who open with just the bar.

Strength is never a weakness. If you enjoy lifting, keep at it and compete to set goals.


#18

why? you fear failure that much? You just can’t stand to be disappointed? Not willing to try for something big if there’s a chance you won’t get there?

Regardless of whether you pursue powerlifting or not (I recommend not, because it’s a really lame sport), you should give over that sort of attitude. You’re only 15. Dream big, man, no matter where you are now.


#19

Competing will do a lot for your strength and it will also get you meeting a bunch of new people. There are a lot of positives and not many downsides.

If I were you, I’d sign up for something 8 to 16 weeks away and go for it.


#20

I didnt mean that in that context, I have a lot of respect for everyone that even goes to the gym and is willing to try and change something because I know how hard it can be, when i started i was weighing in at like 50kgs and felt like everyone was looking at me with disrespect, I just want to know if i have a chance to achieve something in this type of sport and if not i could maybe try something new as im willing to.